GAINESVILLE, Fla.- When senior Auburn forward Kenny Gabriel left with an injury, Auburn had no answer for No. 11 Florida on Tuesday at the O'Connell Center.
Kenny Gabriel missed most of the second half with an injury.
Auburn led 30-27 at halftime and 37-36 with 13:59 left. With the Gators leading 42-37, Gabriel left the court with 11:27 left and did not return. The Gators, blazing away from 3-point range, ran away to a 63-47 victory.
The Gators made 7-of-12 3-point attemps in the second half.
Auburn fell to 14-13 overall and 4-9 in the Southeastern Conference. Florida improved to 22-6 and 10-3.
“With an explosive offensive team likeFlorida is, we kept them seven below their average," Auburn coach Tony Barbee said, "but we have to score. We had only 11 points in the first 18 minutes of the second half. They are a veteran, seasoned team and you knew they were going to make a run. We we didn’t have the firepower.”
Adrian Forbes led Auburn with 11 points. Gabriel had 8 points in just 20 minutes.
Auburn closed the first half on a 7-0 run in the final 1:42 with the last five points coming from Chris Denson on a 3-pointer and then a layup to beat the buzzer after a Tiger defensive stand with four seconds left on the other end.
There were eight lead changes and two ties in tightly contested first period as the Tigers led for the third straight road game at the half.
Florida was led by Boynton’s 20 points on 6-of-9 three-pointers while Walker and Beal added 13 points each. Walker went 3-of-7 from behind the arc.
Auburn plays host to Arkansas on Saturday at 3 p.m. at Auburn Arena.